More Vocabulary + a Bit of Grammar

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More Vocabulary + a Bit of Grammar
Release date October 30, 2011
Source Naviteri
Link: 1

Ma eylan,

Here are a few new words, mostly suggestions from our hardworking Vocabulary Committee, along with a bit of new grammar.


Na'vi has two different words corresponding to the English word source; it's important not to confuse them. One is:

  • letsim (adj., le.TSIM) ‘original, unique, not derived from another source'

This adjective is derived from the noun 'tsim ‘source, origin.'

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Sweylu txo ngal ke txivìng säfpìlit letsim. ‘You shouldn't abandon your original idea.'

The meaning here is that you came up with a new and unique idea that you shouldn't abandon.

But we also have:

  • lesngä'i (adj., le.SNGÄ.'i) ‘original, existing at or from the start, first in a series'
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Sweylu txo ngal ke txivìng säfpìlit lesngä'i. ‘You shouldn't abandon your original idea.'

Here the meaning is that your very first idea is better than the current one.

The related adverbs are:

  • nìtsim (adv., nì.TSIM) ‘originally, in an original way, with originality'
  • nìsngä'i (adv., nì.SNGÄ.'i) ‘originally, at first'
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Frakrr po fpìl nìtsim nìwotx. ‘Her thinking is always completely original.'

Nìsngä'i fmawnit fo narmew wivan, slä nì'i'a frapor lolonu. ‘They originally wanted to hide the news, but in the end they revealed it everyone.'

  • ngong (adj.) ‘lethargic, lacking sufficient energy, lazy'
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Ftue lu fwa taron ngonga ioangit to fwa taron pumit a lu walak sì win. ‘It's easier to hunt lethargic animals than to hunt perky, speedy ones.

  • walak (adj., WA.lak) ‘energetic, active'
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Tìtusaronìri txo new fko slivu tsulfätu, zene smarto livu walak. ‘If you want to become a master hunter, you have to be more active than your prey.'

Fìtrr oe 'efu ngong nìwotx. ‘I'm just not motivated to do anything today.'


  • tìngong (n., tì.NGONG) ‘lethargy, laziness'
  • nìngong (adv., nì.NGONG) ‘lethargically, lazily'

Note: When applied to people, ngong and its derivatives have a pejorative force: it's not good to be lazy and lethargic.

Fwa Ìstawhu 'awsiteng tìkangkem si ke sunu oer; tìngongìri ke lu kawtu na po. ‘I don't like to work with Ìstaw; he's famous for his laziness.'

To talk about doing something in a leisurely or unhurried way, without the negative connotation, we use a different set of words:

  • txi (n.) ‘hurry, hurriedness, frenzy'
  • letxi (adj., le.TXI) ‘hurried, frenzied'
  • nìtxi (adv., nì.TXI) ‘hurriedly, in a frenzied way'
  • letxiluke (adj., ‘unhurried'
  • nìtxiluke (adv., nì ‘unhurriedly, leisurely'

Tsun oe ngahu tsatsengene kivä, slä nulnew futa sivop oeng nìtxiluke. ‘I can go there with you, but I prefer to travel leisurely.'

  • kulat (vtr., — inf. 1,2 ) ‘reveal, bring forth, uncover (literally and metaphorically)'

Maw txantompa, pxaya rìkäo lamu tskalep peyä, ha tsat kulat ayoel. ‘After the rainstorm, his crossbow was under a lot of leaves, so we uncovered it (removed the leaves from it).'

  • txantompa (n., ‘rainstorm, heavy rain'

Lolu kavuk, slä Tsenul tìngayit kolulat. ‘There was treachery, but Tsenu revealed the truth.'


  • meyam (vtr., me.YAM — inf. 1,2) ‘hug, embrace, hold in one's arms'

Ma sa'nu, oe txopu si. Meyam oeti! ‘Mommy, I'm scared. Hold me!'


  • sämyam (n., säm.YAM) – hug, embrace

Sämyamìl poru wayìntxu futa ngata lolu li txoa. ‘A hug will show him that you've already forgiven him.' Now here's the first bit of new grammar. How would you say, “They hugged each other?”

For this “reciprocal structure,” Na'vi uses the reflexive infix ‹äp› along with the adverbfìtsap:

  • fìtsap (adv., fì.TSAP) ‘each other'

This word evolved from fìpo+tsapor, literally ‘this person/thing to that person/thing.'


Mefo fìtsap mäpoleyam tengkrr tsngawvìk. ‘The two of them hugged each other and wept.'

Note two things here. First, it's mefo, not mefol, since a reflexive verb takes the subjective, not the agentive, case. Second, if you omitted fìtsap, the sentence would mean that the two of them hugged themselves—that is, A hugged A and B hugged B rather than A hugged B and B hugged A.

Note also that the verb pom ‘kiss' and the derived noun säpom ‘a kiss' are parallel in all respects to meyam and sämyam.

  • nuä (adp.+, NU.ä) ‘beyond'

Awnga kelku si nuä ayram alusìng. ‘We live beyond the flying mountains.'

Note the difference between nuä ‘beyond' and few ‘across, aiming for the opposite side of.'

Fo kelku si few 'ora. ‘They live across the lake.' (That is, on the opposite side of the lake, on the other shore.)

Fo kelku si nuä ora. ‘They live beyond the lake.' (That is, a great distance beyond and out of sight of the lake.)

(I'm sure everyone knows why it's 'ora in one but ora in the other. )

  • kanfpìl (vin., KAN.fpìl — inf. 1, 2) ‘concentrate, focus one's attention'

Furia sneyä tskoti ngop po kanfpìl. ‘He's concentrating on making his bow.'

Txo new nga tslivam, zene kivanfpìl. ‘If you want to understand, you have to concentrate.'


  • fmokx (n.) ‘jealousy, envy'

The syntax is: Lu oeru fmokx. ‘I'm jealous.'

Note that fmokx carries a neutral connotation unless otherwise specified with ‹äng› or‹ei›.

Furia fìtxan fnängan Ulreyìl tsko swizawit, lu oeru fmokx. ‘I'm jealous of the fact that Ulrey is such an excellent archer.'

Fko plltxeie san menga muntxa slolu sìk! Seykxel sì nitram! Slä lu oeru fmokx nì'it. ‘I'm so happy to hear you got married! Congratulations! I am a little envious, though.'


  • nìfmokx (adv., nì.FMOKX) ‘jealously, enviously'

Txewìl tukrut Loakä narmìn nìfmokx. ‘Txewì was eyeing Loak's spear enviously.'

In season[edit]

  • kìmar (adj., kì.MAR) ‘in season (of foods, vegetable or animal)'

Teylu kìmar lìyu a fì'u oeru teya si. It fills me with joy that teylu is about to be in season.


  • nìkmar (adv., nìk.MAR) ‘in the right season, opportunely'

Nìkmar can be used to describe events and situations that occur at a convenient or appropriate time.

Po tsap'alute soli nìkmar. ‘He apologized at the right time.'

Awngal tok kelkut. Nìkmar zup tompa set. ‘We're home. Now is a good time for it to be raining.'

When occurring in a negated phrase, the meaning is not merely ‘not in season' but ‘genuinely out of season, occurring at an inappropriate or inconvenient time.'

Fo ke perängkxo oehu nìkmar. ‘They were chatting with me at a bad time.'

Contrast the previous sentence with:

Kìmar lu fwa fo ke pängkxo oehu. ‘It was opportune that they didn't chat with me.' (That is, ‘They chose a good time not to chat with me.')


Finally, here's a use of the second-position infix ‹ats› that I don't think you've seen before. (Thanks to one of our sulfätu lì'fyayä for this suggestion.)

‹ats› is used in what we might call “conjectural questions.” In a normal question, I don't know something but I expect you do—that's why I'm asking. In a conjectural question, however, I don't know and I don't think you do either.

Tsa'u latsu peu? ‘What on earth is that?

Pol pesenget tatsok? ‘Where in the world could she be?'

Srake pxefo li polähatsem? ‘I wonder if the three of them have already arrived.'

'O'a Ftxozä Hälowinä, ma frapo!

ta Pawl

P.S.—I owe some of you responses to your comments on the previous post, and I'm sure there will comments on this one as well. I'll get to them as soon as I can, but it probably won't be until Wednesday night at the earliest.